1. Parent(s) must be working, going to school, or enrolled in a job-training program -- full or part-time. School may be high school, college (including post-graduate school), or GED preparation. Job training includes Vo-Tech, or job skills training program.
  2. Family meets Child Care Services’ gross monthly income guidelines. We approve a higher monthly income than DHS subsidy program or any other tribal family service program. Parents must share the cost of child care by paying a co-payment fee and the closer a family comes to the maximum monthly amount, the higher their co-payment. Income guidelines effective July 1, 2019.
    Family Size Yearly Monthly
    1 $30,150 $2,512
    2 $39,427 $3,285
    3 $48,704 $4,058
    4 $57,981 $4,831
    5 $67,258 $5,604
    6 $76,534 $6,377
    7 $78,274 $6,522
    8 $80,013 $6,667
    9 $81,753 $6,812
    10 $83,492 $6,958


  3. Parent or child meets the federal definition (listed below) of an Indian — One who "is a member, or is eligible for membership, in a federally recognized Indian tribe" by birth, adoption or family sanguinity. Within the definitions of family sanguinity and adoption, the Cherokee Nation has some latitude to include non-Indian children who are under the custodial care of an Indian family.
  4. Family lives within the Cherokee Nation Child Care service area. Residence can be any place within one of the fourteen counties of northeastern Oklahoma and must be the home of the child. For example, an Indian family living in western Wagoner County may qualify as a resident.
  5. Child(ren) is not older than 12 years of age. Exceptions: 1. Children with special needs may qualify for services to age 18 if a child’s a.) Physical, b.) Mental, and/or c.) Cognitive development is delayed to the extent that they cannot take care of themselves. 2. A child in need of protective/preventive services, or is under court protection or supervision, may be exempt from some eligibility requirements.
  6. Must use a child care facility contracted with Cherokee Nation or a relative provider (as listed in the To Apply section.)   
Documents List for Subsidy Certification


  1. Child’s age verification Proof of parent or child’s tribal affiliation: CDIB or tribal membership card Proof of residence Family monthly income Work or school schedule
Federal Definition of an Indian: An Indian is one who is a member or id eligible for membership in a federally recognized tribe by birth, adoption or family sanguinity.

The US Child Care Bureau (our funding agency) broadly interprets this definition and places great value on the impact child care has on the total family. We are therefore allowed to provide child care subsidy for non-Indian children in intermarried family situations. For example, non-Indian step children of an Indian spouse may be considered eligible due to 'family sanguinity' providing that the step parent can show some proof of membership affiliation in a federally recognized tribe. Adoption is also an area where we have some latitude to include children who may be in the custodial care of an Indian family, but are not directly related by blood.